Joint Economic and Community Development Board

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In addition to the coordinating committee that is formed to formulate a growth plan and any amendments to it, the law requires a board with representatives from both public and private segments of the community to engage in long-term planning and maintain communication among the various interest groups.

Composition.  The final makeup of each board is to be established by interlocal agreement, but at a minimum must include the county mayor, the mayor or city manager of each city in the county (in a county with multiple cities, the smaller cities may rotate for representation, according to interlocal agreement), and an owner of greenbelt property.  Boards are encouraged to include school system representatives as well. A county or city mayor or city manager may designate an alternative representative on the board and its executive committee so long as the alternative has experience or education in administration, economic or community development, or planning and be able to speak for the represented official.

Executive Committee.  The executive committee is to be selected by the entire board but must consist of at least the county mayor and the mayors of the larger municipalities.

Powers.  Boards are authorized to exercise on behalf of constituent members any authority contained in the interlocal agreement that may be exercised separately by the constituent member.  Such authority includes the authority to contract with an industrial development corporation, development district, human resources agency, nonprofit corporation, or private business to deliver services that further economic growth in the community.

Term of Office.  The terms are to be determined by interlocal agreement, with a maximum of four (4) years; all terms must be staggered except for those of elected officials, whose terms of service on the board coincide with their terms of office.

Meetings.  The full board must meet a minimum of four (4) times a year, and the executive committee must also meet at least four (4) times annually with an executive committee meeting occurring at least once in each calendar quarter.  Both bodies are subject to the open meetings law and are required to keep minutes and attendance.

Funding.  Costs are shared jointly among participating governments according to a statutory formula based upon population.  The board may accept donations and grants.  It must adopt a budget by April 1 each year; While participating governments retain full authority to approve their contributions to the board, if a participating government does not contribute its share, the board may impose such sanctions or conditions as it deems proper. Before applying for any state grant, local governments must certify their compliance with these provisions.

Exception.  If a county has previously formed a similar agency, it may apply to the local government planning advisory committee for an exception to these provisions.

Donation of Funds.  A joint economic and community development board is authorized to transfer or donate funds that it has received from participating governments and outside sources to other public or non-profit entities within the county to be used for economic or industrial development purposes.  T.C.A. § 6-58-114.